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Grandmother Ordered to Trial for Death of Infant

MAHANOY CITY — A woman from Mahanoy City accused of killing her 14-month-old granddaughter is headed to trial. A magistrate made the decision after a prel...
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MAHANOY CITY -- A woman from Mahanoy City accused of killing her 14-month-old granddaughter is headed to trial.

A magistrate made the decision after a preliminary hearing for Pietrina Hoffman.

That hearing includes about two hours of testimony from first responders about what they saw when they walked into Hoffman's home in Mahanoy City last month.

Some spoke to us after the hearing, saying that day is one they'll never forget.

"God's will will be done," said Hoffman on her way out of the hearing.

A district magistrate decided there is enough evidence for her to stand trial on charges including criminal homicide.

The woman from Mahanoy City is accused of smothering her 14-month-old granddaughter last month at her home on West Centre Street in the borough.

A handful of people testified at Hoffman's preliminary hearing, including first responders.

"It's always rough when it's an infant. It's not a normality of what we do."

For Justin Shapansky, with the Citizen's Fire Company, it was his first time responding to a scene that involved a dead child.

"It was rough sight to see Neveah Doyle cold and dead on her grandmother's living room floor."

Even for veteran first responder George Brill, after 30 years, something about the scene at this home still gives him chills.

"I looked at the other medic and said, 'something ain't right here,'" Brill recalled.

A court will determine if Hoffman killed the child, and why.

A motive isn't clear, but Brill believes either way the toddler should not have been left on the floor, dead for hours.

"I don't know why she did it. And why she waited too long to call it in."

While Hoffman did not say much after her preliminary hearing, when she was charged earlier this month, she was adamant she's innocent.

"I didn't do nothing, I don't know, I don't remember."

No date has been set for Hoffman's trial, and she is still behind bars in Schuylkill County.